For Immediate Release
MADIGAN: RYAN’S PENSION FORFEITED
Chicago–Attorney General Lisa Madigan today issued an opinion in response to the September 6, 2006 request from the General Assembly Retirement System for guidance regarding whether former Governor George Ryan’s felony convictions result in a forfeiture of his pension benefits under the Illinois Pension Code.
Madigan’s opinion concludes that Ryan has forfeited all of his public pension benefits because his felony convictions arose out of and in connection with his service as a state official. Madigan further advises the General Assembly Retirement System that it may suspend Ryan’s pension benefits as of the date of his criminal sentencing.
“Former Governor Ryan’s extensive and reprehensible criminal conduct was directly and inherently related to his official duties as state officer,” Madigan stated. “In my opinion, the criminal conduct in which he engaged for over a decade as a state official is precisely the type of misconduct and breach of public trust that the felony forfeiture provision of the Pension Code is designed to discourage. Consequently, I have concluded that Ryan’s felony convictions clearly require the forfeiture of all of his pension benefits.”
The General Assembly Retirement System specifically requested that Madigan provide a legal opinion addressing five questions relating to Ryan’s receipt of benefits in light of his felony convictions. Madigan’s opinion responds to each question and concludes: